How to become a licensed therapist in Washington, D.C.
To become a licensed therapist in Washington, D.C., individuals must first obtain a master's degree in counseling or a related field from an accredited institution. They must then complete a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, with at least 1,500 hours of direct client contact. This experience must be obtained through an approved internship or residency program.
After completing the required clinical experience, individuals must pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). They must also pass the District of Columbia Jurisprudence Exam, which tests their knowledge of the laws and regulations governing the practice of counseling in the district.
Once these requirements are met, individuals can apply for licensure through the District of Columbia Board of Professional Counseling. This includes submitting an application, paying a fee, and providing documentation of education, clinical experience, and exam scores. Applicants must also pass a criminal background check and provide references from licensed professionals.
After obtaining licensure, therapists in Washington, D.C. must complete continuing education requirements to maintain their license. This includes completing a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education every two years, with at least six hours in ethics and three hours in cultural competency.
Overall, becoming a licensed therapist in Washington, D.C. requires a significant amount of education, clinical experience, and testing. However, it is a rewarding career path for those who are passionate about helping others improve their mental health and well-being.